Osteopathy is a regulated health profession and all osteopaths must be registered with the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC). Osteopaths undergo a rigorous 4 or 5 year honours degree programme (bachelor’s or master’s) along side 1200+ hours of clinical training. Their training gives them the skills to detect, treat and prevent health problems by moving, stretching and massaging a person's muscles and joints.
Osteopathy works with the structure and function of the body, and is based on the principle that the well-being of an individual depends on the skeleton, muscles, ligaments and connective tissues functioning smoothly together. They recognise that pain and disability often arises from abnormalities in the body’s structure. By improving structural integrity, the capacity for the body to self-heal is stimulated and a balanced state of health and function may be restored.
Most osteopathic treatments will involve physical techniques such as articulation, gentle joint manipulation, soft tissue massage and resistance stretching (MET), cranial treatment and functional treatment. The aim is to assist the body in achieving normal pain free movement and function by correcting underlying dysfunctions. Slow release techniques are commonly used in the elderly and the very young, to ensure that the treatment is both safe and comfortable. Post treatment advice and exercises may be given depending on the problem.
What do Osteopaths treat?
Osteopathy is suitable for people of all ages from new-born babies to the elderly including pregnant women.
Common conditions that may be helped include:
· Arthritic Pain
· Tennis Elbow
· Rheumatic pain
· Muscle Spasms
· Digestion Problems
· Migraine Prevention
· Cervicogenic Headaches
· Acute & Chronic Backache
· Osteoarthritis of the Hip/Knee
· Generalised Aches and Pains
· Minor Sports Injuries & Tensions
How it’s performed
During your first osteopathy session, the osteopath will ask about your symptoms, general health and any other medical care you’re receiving before carrying out a physical examination. The osteopath will use their hands to identify areas of weakness, tenderness, restrictions or strains within your body. With your consent, you'll probably need to remove some clothing from the area being examined, and you may be asked to perform simple movements. Once the examination is complete they will be able to advise you if osteopathy can help treat the problem and, if so, what the treatment programme should involve.
Osteopaths use their hands to treat the body in a variety of ways, using a mixture of gentle and forceful techniques.
Techniques are chosen based on the individual patient and the symptoms they have reported.
Some of these include:
massage – to release and relax muscles
stretching stiff joints
articulation – where your joints are moved through their natural range of motion
high-velocity thrusts – short, sharp movements to joints, which normally produce a clicking noise similar to cracking your knuckles
These techniques aim to reduce pain, improve movement and encourage blood flow.
You may be given advice on self-help and exercise to aid your recovery and prevent symptoms returning or getting worse.
Specialist musculoskeletal care throughout pregnancy
Patients who are pain-free are checked by our osteopaths once a month especially towards the end of the pregnancy. Osteopathic treatment is beneficial and safe during all stages of pregnancy and helps prepare your body for labour. Gentle techniques can be used to correct any imbalance within the pelvis and pelvic ligaments as this may affect the position of the baby. This correction will encourage the baby into a good position to help improve the chances of a straight forward birth.
We use an integrated approach to healthcare during your pregnancy and may work with your midwife, obstetrician, exercise instructor or ante-natal teachers to provide information on your symptoms so that special care can be taken during your delivery or during your exercise classes.
Preparation for labour
At 37 to 38 weeks pregnant we like to do a special appointment for the pregnant women in the practice. This is to check the mobility of the pelvis, particularly the movement of the sacrum which has to move a considerable amount during delivery. During this session our osteopaths will teach you breast feeding posture for the mother. (You will be taught posture and latching for the baby by your midwife). This is particularly important to prevent the all too common neck or back pain post-natally.
Our Osteopaths are registered with the General Osteopathic Council (GOsC) and covered by all major insurance providers, such as Bupa.